Lawrence M. Walsh
JOLIET – Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County has received a five-star rating from the national Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, putting it in the top 10 percent of nursing homes in Illinois.
Will County Executive Larry Walsh said the ranking reaffirms the hard work that administrators and staff members put in at Sunny Hill.
“Will County is fortunate to have Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County,” said Walsh. “I have long maintained that it is one of the finest nursing homes in the state, and this ranking proves it. I offer my congratulations to Karen Sorbero, who recently retired as the Sunny Hill administrator, Becky Haldorson, who took over after 12 years as Karen’s assistant, and the rest of the staff who works so hard to ensure that Sunny Hill really is ‘home’ to the residents.
“In addition, I’d like to commend and thank The Friends of Sunny Hill and all of the other volunteers who work so tirelessly to make residents’ lives better. They provide help and entertainment, worship opportunities and much, much more that the staff alone cannot provide.”
“It’s a big deal,” Haldorson said. “We struggled between three and four stars for a long time.”
Haldorson said that the rankings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which goes by CMS, are available online, making it easier for people to find a nursing home for a loved one.
The stars are given on the basis of a formula that includes reports from the corresponding state health department, staffing and other quality measures.
“We had a very good survey from the Illinois Department of Health in January,” Haldorson said. In addition, she believes the change to mostly private rooms – a change which came at residents’ requests – and the consistency of care given to residents because of permanent staff assignments made a difference.
And the new ranking is already making a difference to those looking for a place for a loved one, or sometimes themselves, to live. Sunny Hill, which has recently been renovated, has had “lots of people” touring the facility who have seen the new ranking.
“People looking for a nursing home have become very educated consumers,” she said.
Currently, the county-owned Sunny Hill is full and has a waiting list. The facility is under the County Executive’s office.
To find out more about nursing homes and their rankings, go to www.cms.gov.